Sep 17, 2019

A new company lets companies make sure potential employees aren't spies

Strider, a company making its public debut Tuesday, offers a detailed screening tool to prevent international infiltrators from stealing intellectual property.

Why it matters: Countries — particularly China — are believed to frequently try to improve their economic might by stealing intellectual property for their domestic firms to copy and sell.

  • One major way to accomplish this is by sending people to take jobs at companies with attractive technology or throw fake conferences to recruit existing employees.

The big picture: Until now, there have been few methods to screen individual people for obfuscated ties to governments.

  • Strider addresses this through massive databases of human entanglements with governments, ranging from military scholarships to shell groups founded by people interconnected with previously flagged individuals from a variety of governments.
  • While Strider is announcing itself to the public today, its twin co-founders Eric and Greg Levesque have quietly been providing similar services to U.S. intelligence agencies and large firms in the past.

The state of play: While it might seem like screening for potential spies would drive a wedge between companies and international businesses, Strider thinks they provide the exact opposite service: the ability to confidently recruit from nations like China or Russia while minimizing the risk of being robbed.

  • "The reality is that we live in a day and age where companies operate globally," Eric Levesque told Axios. "We assess the risk of espionage, to allow them to do it safely."

Go deeper: China's move on intellectual property theft

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